THE fife, pífaro or pife is a small transverse flute well known in Brazil for the pife bands of the northeast. Brazilian natives also have their fife-style flutes at other scales. Some researchers believe that fife came to Brazil at the time of colonization. Others believe they are of indigenous origin. The fact is that in various parts of the world, native cultures have developed their transversal flutes.
The greatest tradition and profusion of fife bands are concentrated in the Northeast, but the sound has spread throughout the country. This form of expression can be found in all regions, in the Southeast (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais), in the South (Santa Catarina), in the Midwest (Federal District) and in the North, in tribes of the Upper Xingu . Also known as zabumba, gourd, warm woman, fife suit, among other names, they are formed by intuitive musicians.
It is hard to believe how an instrument apparently so simple and made by hand is capable of producing such rich and beautiful music, animating parties, processions and still being the livelihood of many musicians in various regions of Brazil.